Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)|
|Long title||Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act|
|Stat.||20 U.S.C. § 1232g|
FERPA gives parents access to their child's education records, an opportunity to seek to have the records amended, and some control over the disclosure of information from the records. With several exceptions, schools must have a student's consent prior to the disclosure of education records after that student is 18 years old. The law only applies to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
Examples of situations affected by FERPA include school employees divulging information to anyone other than the student about the student's grades or behavior, and school work posted on a bulletin board with a grade. Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record.
This U.S. federal law also gave students 18 years old or older, or students of any age if enrolled in any postsecondary educational institution, the right of privacy regarding grades, enrollment, and even billing information, unless the school has specific permission from the student to share that specific type of information.
FERPA also permits a school to disclose personally identifiable information from education records of an "eligible student" (a student age 18 or older or enrolled in a postsecondary institution at any age) to his or her parents if the student is a "dependent student" as that term is defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code. Generally, if either parent has claimed the student as a dependent on the parent's most recent income tax statement, the school may non-consensually disclose the student's education records to both parents.
The law allowed students who apply to an educational institution such as graduate school permission to view recommendations submitted by others as part of the application. However, on standard application forms, students are given the option to waive this right.
FERPA specifically excluded employees of an educational institution if they are not students.
- Codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, with implementing regulations in title 34, part 99 of the Code of Federal Regulations
- FERPA General Guidance for Parents, U.S. Department of Education, http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/parents.html